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Several pictures of doctors who are featured on the Local Legends web site

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Nancy S. Boutin, M.D.

Picture of Nancy S. Boutin
Scrapbook not available

Nancy S. Boutin, M.D.

“Radiation oncology is a great field. Cancer patients are wonderful to work with–appreciative and really motivated to get better. I love the patients and the chance to make a difference in their lives.”


Darleen Hooley



Nancy Boutin grew up one of four children in a working–class family wanting to be a doctor for almost as long as she could remember, with an older sister who preceded her into medicine. "When I was about 10 or so I wanted to be an obstetrician. I remember watching the neighbor's pet rabbit have her babies, and thinking that was great. So I always wanted to be a doctor; I just wasn't sure what kind."

During medical school a random assignment for clinical work brought her to radiation oncology where she found a sense of community and commitment among the patients and physicians who specialized in the field. Since then, she has been a leader in the field–in addition to being a practicing physician, healthcare educator and frequent speaker on healthcare issues in her community and throughout Oregon.

"Part of the changing face of medicine is that women are bringing traditionally female approaches to the workplace," Boutin says. "While I consider myself a '70's feminist, my way of contributing is in the traditional female mold–serving, building consensus, leading from the middle. I've gotten things done by nudging rather than blazing."

Nominated as a Local Legend by Rep. Darleen Hooley (D-OR-5), Boutin is Chair of the Cancer Committee at Salem Hospital. In addition, she has served in numerous leadership positions and initiated cancer protocols and programs for patients throughout the state.

She has served on the Oregon Medical Association (OMA) Communication Task Force, and been President of the Oregon Radiation Oncology Society, President of the Marion-Polk County Medical Society, Salem Hospital Medical Executive Cabinet Physician Section representative, OMA Trustee-at-Large, and twice Chair of Salem Hospital's Radiation Oncology Department.

Currently she is a radiation-oncologist with Salem Hospital but also practices in McMinnville, a small, nearby town that would have no specialist care–except for the voluntary rotation of physicians such as her.

A committed, prolific writer, she is an active member of the Oregon Writers Colony. She also makes quilts, which she donates to an annual auction benefiting an organization that provides counseling for grieving children.

"I try to balance doing the best I can for every patient and also educating them to make good and reasonable health care decisions. I believe in compassionate, honest conversations with every patient.

"The important thing for me is working quietly and effectively. It's not important that I get all the credit for a cancer program. What matters is that the cancer program is out there for people.

"I've treated young women who have had a child after their cancer treatment. They'll send cards and pictures of their child or some patients will stop by for a visit. It's a fabulous feeling to know you've helped people."

Rep. Hooley says of Boutin, "In addition to being a highly skilled physician committed to patient care, Nancy is a public advocate and educator for healthcare. She has my highest recommendation."



Appointed Director, Willamette Valley Hospice, Salem, OR


Elected President, Oregon Radiation Oncology Society

1994-1996; 1999-2001

Twice serves as Chair, Radiation Oncology Department, Salem Hospital, Salem


Chair, Cancer Committee, Salem Hospital, Salem


Elected President, Marian/Polk County Medical Society




Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland, OR


Radiation Oncology